Many in Tennessee receive SSI benefits but more may be eligible

Elderly individuals, disabled individuals and those suffering with blindness who are struggling financially may not realize that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may be able to help. SSI is designed for poor individuals that do not meet the work requirements necessary to receive Social Security Disability. Many individuals may erroneously believe that if they do not meet the work requirements, there are no other options for help that may be available to them.

Individuals over the age of 65 may qualify for SSI benefits. Eligibility for SSI-related benefits depends on countable income, which will differ with each unique situation and the unique circumstances of each individual applying for SSI benefits. The medical evaluation for disability is similar to that for Social Security Disability benefits. At the end of 2013, 2 million individuals over the age of 65 received SSI benefits.

In Tennessee in particular, it may be useful for Tennessee residents to note that 3,178 individuals towards the middle of the state were SSI recipients at the end of 2013, according to statistics from the Social Security Administration’s website. The highest number of Tennesseans receiving SSI benefits was in the Memphis area on the west side of the state, where 4,683 individuals were receiving SSI benefits. Other areas of the state boast numbers approaching the Memphis-area total. Individuals under 65 may also qualify for SSI benefits, however, individuals below age 65 who are poor and disabled were not included in the statistics published.

It is important for individuals of limited means who are elderly, disabled or blind to understand both the benefits available to them and the requirements and application process to secure those benefits. SSI benefits may be surprisingly helpful to many.

Source: Jacksonsun.com, “Supplemental Security Income helps seniors,” Beth Bates, June 27, 2014